The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) has announced the new Chair of its Transport and Connectivity Board.

Ann Carruthers, Director of Environment and Transport at Leicestershire County Council took over from Mark Kemp this month (March). Ann is the first woman to take on the position as Chair as Mark prepares to take on the ADEPT presidency later this year.

For the last six years, Ann has been with Leicestershire County Council. Prior to that, she worked with a number of local authorities across Scotland and England in the highways, transport and growth fields. She has also spent time in New Zealand working for the agency managing the country’s state highway network.

Her other roles include being Chair of the Executive Board of the Midlands Highway Alliance Plus, which is a collaboration of 36 local highways authorities aiming to share and implement best practice across the sector, as well as providing routes to market for professional services and construction. Ann is also a member of the Highway Sector Council.

Ann said: “Transport and connectivity are both incredibly challenging and fast-moving agendas. There are critical issues facing local highways authorities and the wider sector that have only been made more acute by the pandemic. Passenger transport recovery, decarbonisation and resilience, levelling up and rising costs are all pressing and interlinked, and the Board will be looking closely at how demand management and innovation can both offer solutions.

“As the first female Chair, I want to be able to encourage more women into the sector. I hope seeing more senior female leadership will break down barriers and encourage other women to progress their careers in the sector. I want to encourage greater diversity. Everyone uses our services regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, social status or any other factor, which makes what we do even more important.”

Paula Hewitt, ADEPT President said: “Ann will make a fantastic Chair of one of ADEPT’s busiest and most challenging Boards. Her role will include enabling members to keep abreast of new developments, share challenges and learning and have direct conversation with the Department for Transport. She will play a vital role in ensuring local authorities’ voice is heard.”

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